ESPN ditches unpopular yellow graphic at halftime during ‘Monday Night Football’

The unpopular yellow graphic is shown in the first half of the Saints-Texans game
“Monday Night Football” viewers were not happy with the yellow graphic on the bottom right of their screens during the first half of the Saints-Texans game Monday. The color was switched before the start of the third quarter.
(@HoustonTexans / Twitter)

Halftime is a time for adjustments. If something wasn’t working in the first half, potential fixes can be made during the break.

And that doesn’t just apply to the teams on the field. Networks sometimes need to switch things up on the fly as well — especially if they fail as miserably as ESPN’s experiment with the color of a particular graphic during the first “Monday Night Football” broadcast of the regular season.

At some point during the offseason, somebody decided to jazz up the down-and-distance marker in the bottom right corner of the screen by making it yellow. Um, sure, whatever.


Here’s how that graphic looked during the first two quarters of the Houston Texans-New Orleans Saints game:

You know, it’s always good to try new things. Problem is, though, this isn’t really a new thing. Yellow is the color of penalty flags and has traditionally been used in TV graphics to indicate that such a flag has been thrown on the play.

That caused much confusion and/or annoyance among viewers. And that led to a lot of complaining on social media.

By the time the teams took the field for the second half, the offending yellow box had been replaced by a much more satisfying white outline.

“Our ESPN production team is aware of the feedback on the #MNF down and distance graphic,” ESPN’s Bill Hofheimer tweeted. “We have called an audible and adjusted for the 2nd half.”

And, thus, order was restored to the football-viewing universe.